The city’s menswear, sneakers and streetwear style became recognized globally through stores like Apartment Number 9, Leaders 1354, Fashion Geek and Saint Alfred in the early 2000s. Those shops introduced a generation of creatives to the fashion industry, and helped grow neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Bucktown and West Loop as destinations away from the city’s touristy Magnificent Mile.
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Leaders 1354, Apartment Number 9 and Saint Alfred helped pave the way for streetwear store Jugrnaut in 2007, and Virgil Abloh and Don C’s RSVP Gallery in 2009 to emerge in Wicker Park and propose an offering that mixed luxury fashion, streetwear and art. Shortly after, high-end boutique Fashion Aesthete would also debut in the neighborhood.
Outside of the city, Chicago’s darling Kanye West grew his fashion profile through collaborations with Louis Vuitton